Sweets and feelings

12 Abr

I wanted to count many things I have received since I am teaching Spanish. First I will start for the material stuff. I can say my colleague from the office, Maria, is always giving me sweets, leaving them on my desk. It’s a sweet way to say she is happy we share  her office. My boss, Renata does the same, sometimes with cookies, cakes or chocolates, to show she is happy with the work I do. Some students felt grateful for my lessons and they decided to offer me chocolates as a way to say “thank you”. That’s the case of Zenobia who I will remember always for the chocolates and for her hugs to say goodbye.

Those are things I can touch and count. But, then, at the other hand, there are many others I still receive each day without exception, that I can not count but I feel constantly.

Things such as the esteem from people who surrounds me. The energy I receive from my students, the smiles when they suddenly understand something new and the general good mood in my lessons that brings me back good sensations.

The feeling you have enjoying things that you do and making others enjoy has no price. You can not mesure those feelings even when you have them into. I try to enjoy them and to keep them alive through this blog. Each time I will  read again my own words I will recall that I felt like that  and I will smile.

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So proud of my seniors, the chefs!

11 Abr

Last week my Seniors learnt something really important for spanish culture: how to cook some spanish recipes. We did a workshop two hours long about food vocabulary and after they were able to write, following a concrete structure, their own recipes.

During the workshop we learnt how to cook their favourite meals such as Russian salad, fruit salad (macedonia), guacamole, ‘spaghetti a la carbonara’, pancakes with jam and hungarian ragout.

We were so hungry afer that! And, again I felt so proud about them beacuse they are learning many vocabulary each time and coming to our lessons regularly with the highest motivation.

Thanks for the hours you allow me to teach you my native language!

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Vídeo

Cinco lobitos tiene la loba

5 Abr

I’m so proud to announce that my group “Mums with Children” are teaching to the young ones of the class the “Cinco lobitos” song. Some of the children can sing it without any troubles. I felt so fulfilled when I knew that.

Mums make a great effort in coming to our lessons, doesn’t matter if snowing, raining or even in sunny days, when they could just go to the park to enjoy the sun with their little ones. I really appreciate their work and perseverance and the interest they show towards spanish language and spanish culture.

Thank you very much for your implication! I’m so glad we have still two months from now on to continue learning about my language and culture.

You are one of the reasons to feel happy here in Poland.

MidTerm Training in Toruń

25 Mar

It’s been ages since my last post. Reasons are many, I have been ill with a cold thanks to the nice weather in Poland and I was in a Training for volunteers in Torun. I will speak about the second topic which is nicest.

As an EVS volunteer, you have the chance to attend two trainings during your project. My second one was one week ago in Toruń, a really beautiful town more or less in the middle of Poland. Toruń is an ancient city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River.  Is one of the oldest cities in Poland, and the medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

With those amazing surroundings, is normal we enjoyed our time in that amazing city! There I have met other volunteers with many stories and several experiences in their EVS projects. Actually, the training was about sharing, about reflecting and about thinking in our future after EVS. It was great thanks to the nice atmosphere our trainers, Wojtek and Marta, created for us. We felt well attended and free to share about ourselves all the time.

In my particular case the training and the activities we did was really useful. I felt that my ideas after EVS, what I want to do, are pretty clear. To find out that gave me many energy to perform the ideas I have already in mind right now. I have discovered that I have grew up as a person thanks to my experience in Poland as an EVS and that made me feel proud of having overcome some difficulties I have found on the way being EVS.

I encourage everyone to take part in the EVS program that European Commission promotes through the Youth in Action Program. The experience is absolutely worth living.

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Giving and taking

7 Mar

Since my main activity in the Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna w Krakowie is to teach my mother tongue to others I feel constantly sharing what I know, what I learnt and what I am.

Is not that I share my language but the knowledge related one’s own culture. I feel spreading the word about how life in Spain is, about how spanish people see life and has a common and particular vision about enjoying little things. In exchange of all my daily giving I take many valuable and precious things from my experience teaching and directly from my students as persons, as human beings that receive and share, at the same time, what they are.

So, for example, just thinking a bit, this week I’ve got many precious things from people around me:

– Tips for traveling around Poland and Ukraine

– Informal conversations with my students that make me confident about what I do in my daily work has a result outside myself and affects others positively

– The feeling that I am somehow making the world smaller sharing my culture and language in another country

– The thought that the diversity of the world has highlighted us and the will to learn about other’s culture enrich ourselves

Those things and many others let me the breathtaking feeling that I am giving from myself but receiving much more back from this amazing experience teaching Spanish language in Poland.

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Conclusions from a sunny day in Krakow

28 Feb

This week has been amazing. I’ve arrived to many conclusions thanks to people that surrounded me.

The Seniors that are learning spanish showed me again how important is to keep the spirit alive. They are the evidence and prove that life is enjoyable until the last moments, always that you have the predisposition to enjoy it.

My group of students formed by Mums with Children showed me the huge labour they do raising their children and in most of the cases resigning, at least for some years, to their professional careers. We were speaking about that topic briefly and they feel their acts and behavior towards their children as an investment for the future. I felt so inspired and excited Europe.

My beginner students, always surprise me. Today it was the day to learn the parts of the body in Spanish and to  create a description about the perfect person for each one of the students. (using adjectives, connectors, clothes vocabulary, etc). I even wrote mine! Some of the best remarks from them were, for example, “lo mas importante es que tenga un corazón grande” (the most important is that he will have a big heart), or “mi persona ideal tiene todos los dientes” (my ideal person should have all the teeth). I enjoyed so much with you guys!

With the advanced students I have always interesting chats. The aim of our lessons is to give them the chance to practice Spanish in an informal way. We discuss about politics, cultural topics, the crisis and about relations between people and countries. My country, Spain, is always a reference and I share with them the knowledge I have about each topic in relation with the spanish point of view. Today we started speaking about healthcare and end up talking about the social cohesion and integration that Europe pretends to promote. And we had random topics until we arrived to that point!

Olga, one of my students gave me her point of view about my labor here in Poland as a volunteer who promotes Spanish language and Spanish culture. She believes my job is really important here because I am sharing what I am and spreading my language which is really important because language is an intangible asset with many hided potential.

Grateful to everyone who was part of my week. More reflections in following days!

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EVS in Voivodeship Public Library

22 Feb

During last days, many of you asked me how to be a volunteer in the project where I do my EVS and I would like to answer you and give you some tips about.

To start the process, remember, you need a Sending Organization, you can look for it in the EVS database, trying to find one the most close to you in order to receive their services properly. In case you can not find any close to your place, you can always choose another and create a relation between you and the Sending Organization using new media such as Skype, mails, etc. Contact them and they will be open to help you with any doubts you could have.

They will inform you that is your responsability to find a project that suits with you and to get the acceptation from an hosting organization. (I talked about how to do it in previous posts). After that, you will start a process where bureaucracy will start. They will send papers and documents and you will get final answer about if the project get the funds from National Agency in about 2 months from the moment you are accepted by the Hosting Organization.

Those who wanted to know better about my concrete EVS project, you can check about it in the following link:

http://ec.europa.eu/youth/evs/aod/hei_form_en.cfm?EID=58000928968

In case you want to learn more and have precise information, just continue reading.

Into the project at the library, there are already workshops prepared which you will have to promote and follow up. “Meet me in the Library” program offers different workshops with a periodicity of once per week (1 hour) where you, as volunteer, will have your own lessons with 10 people group persons more or less. Will be your responsibility to prepare the lessons, decide the contents and give materials to the students.

You will have random groups of students. Since Seniors, children, teenagers, advanced groups of adults, beginner students, mums that come to the library with their babies, etc.

The organization of the lessons, the materials you use and the topics are up to the volunteer. You are completely free to teach them whatever you decide to.

The idea of organizing events and another activities is highly possible. You can organize events such “The day of the book”, a Photo Contest, a Short stories Contest, a marathon of Spanish movies, etc. It will be possible to participate with other organizations creating new project such the coordinator one (Strim) or another’s from Krákow, as Child organizations, student organizations or others. In this edition I am working in some projects with Strim organization, students from Jagiellonian University, and the Cervantes Institute in Krákow.

From that point, if you feel motivated, the library is a huge place with many possibilities where you could implement your own little projects. The coordinator of the project will be always open to listen your ideas, and will be helpful to try to be your support in implementing them.

I wish you good luck and courage to start looking for a project where you will fit!

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Have you ever thought about being a volunteer?

20 Feb

To be a volunteer is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can ever have. The EVS program from European Commission was created to support many youngsters that wanted to volunteer without having any other finantiation than the little amount of money volunteers receive from the Youth in Action Program.

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young Europeans with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people’s active citizenship.

You can get all info you need to apply in the following link where you will find a database with all the organizations that are accredited for EVS:

http://ec.europa.eu/youth/evs/aod/hei_en.cfm

Another completely useful key you could use  is the following site with many offers and resources to get to know better the program and to check concrete vacancies in real time. Here I post it:

http://www.youthnetworks.eu/SearchVacancy.aspx

Those who are interested in do volunteer service, you have many job to do! I encourage you to start sending emails with your CV and cover letter in relation with the topic you apply for to the organizations you find interesting.

For any questions you could have, do not hesitate and send me a message, I will try to help you in everything I can. Good luck!

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Numbers and colors with my Seniors

19 Feb

lenguaje-de-los-colores

This morning,  as each tuesday I had one hour Spanish lesson with my Seniors. We refreshed the contents we have learnt in another lessons and we started new vocabulary: colors, numbers and personal pronouns. We played a game called “Comecocos” made with origami in order to learn and  retain in mind the numbers and colors. I do not want my students learning by hard, that’s why I try to create games and to explain things as logical as possible to make them understand things in the most simple way. Learn speaking or playing is more useful than learn by hard, everyone knows that!

After colors and numbers I explained them the personal pronouns in Spanish. Casually today, we were just woman at the lesson. So, they found really sexist the way how spanish works. I will explain it: if in a room there are 12 women, then the pronoun for them is “vosotras”, but if in the room just a single man come in, then the pronoun will change in “vosotros”. The presence of a man will change the word from feminine into masculine. Same word and form but in masculine gender. They understood it but didn’t agree at all!

Today I went out from the lesson even with a tip from one of my students, she recommended me to check a song from Andrea Bocelli and Jennifer Lopez, “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas”. I liked it and I would like to share it here with all of you! Thanks Wanda for your suggestion!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYz5CiEy5bY

Casually, today we had a photographer during our lesson, Maria Jedlińska  as the coordinator of the program for Seniors was taking us some photos. You can check them and other activities they do such as dance lessons, handcrafts, computer lessons, Facebook lessons, and more in the following link. Hope you enjoy!

 

http://www.sas.tpnk.org.pl/index.php?view=details&id=110%3Alos-colores-y-numeros-hiszpaski-dla-seniorow-&option=com_eventlist&Itemid=105

Enlace

FitFinder in Rajska library is Spotted!

15 Feb

FitFinder in Rajska library is Spotted! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotted-RAJska/486429241395786

library lounge

“For all those who spy on other intervals between pretending to learn. Let us know and we will publish your ads anonymously!”. This is the new service that Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna w Krakowie offers us.

The concept is simple. If you “find a fitty” in the library you can anonymously post up a short description of them on the new Facebook site I share with you. You have the option to describe yourself, or provide a telephone number. Others in the library, including the targeted fitty, are able to comment on the post.

Who knows who could you find or who could find you?

Some comments I’ve found out about this new trend explain about the reactions among people involved:

“The second a description goes up, you have a look round the library to see who they’re talking about. Then everyone bundles in with their own opinions. It’s very funny, although I haven’t met anyone who’s got a date out of it yet.”

The original’s idea came from Rich Martell. He created FitFinder, made the site live one Friday. He says he has been surprised by the rapid response, claiming that on Saturday the UCL site had 2000 unique users, which had rise to 8,500 on Sunday and 18,000 on Monday.

Martell explains: “We’re selling the adverts to local business and restaurants near the university – it’s perfect for them to advertise to students because they know they’re in the area.”

Someone asked him if he can see this becoming a full-time profession? He answered he doesn’t but, again, who knows. The power of social media is just unpredictable.